Legendary San Diego coach to lead West squad in nationally televised all-star baseball game benefiting pediatric cancer
COLUMBUS, GA. – JULY 11, 2006 – Dennis Pugh, a legend in San Diego high school baseball, has been selected to coach the West squad for the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic.
The fourth annual Aflac Classic will showcase the country's top rising high school seniors in an East versus West match-up on Aug. 12 at San Diego State's Tony Gwynn Stadium. It will be broadcast live on FSN at noon Pacific time.
This past season was Pugh's last at Mission Bay High school, where the team finished 27-10. In his career, Pugh was selected San Diego Coach of the Year five times and has been named California Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year twice each. Over his 34-year career coaching baseball, Pugh finished with a 629-198 record overall. The last 26 years of his career was at Mission Bay where he compiled a 602-192 record – including a 44-12 record in the postseason. His teams won the league championship 18 times, won eight CIF championships and made the championship finals 12 times.
“This is a great honor. A great way to my high school coaching career and I am looking forward to it,” Pugh said, who left the high school ranks at the end of the season to become the first-ever baseball coach for NAIA Cal State San Marcos. “To do it in my hometown makes it even better.”
As a part of Aflac's ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, all game proceeds are donated to the research and treatment of pediatric cancer. A combination of athletics and philanthropy, the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic successfully blends sporting excitement with charitable aid.
Since the game's inception, the event has raised nearly $200,000 for pediatric cancer. Proceeds from the 2006 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic will benefit San Diego's Children's Hospital and Health Center.
At Mission Bay, Pugh has coached former Aflac All-American Matt Bush, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 June draft by the San Diego Padres, and Henry Sanchez a supplemental first round pick in 2005. He will coach Francis Parker's Nick Noonan and one of his own players, Sequoyah Stonecipher, on this year's Aflac All-American West squad.
“Dennis Pugh's name is synonymous with outstanding high school baseball in San Diego and nationally,” said Al Johnson, second vice president, Advertising and Branding at Aflac. “Quality baseball has been the hallmark of his teams, and we look forward to his participation in our game.”
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The Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic is endorsed by many of the game's pillars, including Major League Baseball. Baseball legend Reggie Jackson will serve as the game's honorary chairman. Past honorary chairmen have been Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken – who served in that role the past two
games – and Hall of Famer Stan Musial.
For three consecutive years, 29 Aflac All-Americans have been taken in the first round, including the No. 1 overall draft picks in 2004 and 2005. The 2006 draft saw 11 Aflac All-Americans drafted in the first round. Overall, 114 Aflac All-Americans have been drafted by Major League teams since the event began in 2003.
To learn more about the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic, or for more information about dates and stops on the official selection tour, visit www.aflacallamerican.com.
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Aflac's insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's Most Admired Companies for six consecutive years and Forbes magazine's Platinum 400 List of America's Best Big Companies for five consecutive years. In January 2006, Aflac was included in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the eighth consecutive year. Aflac was also included in Fortune magazine's list of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities in August 2005, and in September 2005, Aflac Japan was named the Life Insurance Company of the Year at the Asia Insurance Industry Awards, sponsored by the Asia Insurance Review. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.